Player ratings: England show guts

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 19:03
Large parling line out630

England showed plenty of character in a committed defensive display to share the spoils in a 14-14 draw with the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.

England showed plenty of character in a committed defensive display to share the spoils in a 14-14 draw with the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.

England had a clear plan to counter the Springboks' gameplan, and refused to let them over the gainline in a determined display which ended their nine-match losing streak against the hosts.

Stuart Lancaster's team showed impressive composure to deal with the physical Boks and will take plenty of heart from a gutsy performance at the end of a long season.

Michael de Vries rates the England players:

15 Alex Goode:
An assured performance at the back, he was solid under the high ball and proved a threat on attack with some impressive stepping to make good ground.

14 Chris Ashton:
Looked for work around the fringes and even in the tight exchanges. Smashed Aplon in a well-timed tackle and added plenty of intensity out wide despite not getting many opportunities to stretch his legs.

13 Jonathan Joseph:
Did not get a chance to impose himself with ball in hand, but was solid on defence and did the basics well.

12 Manusamoa Tuilagi:
Used his strength and speed well in a direct role and also showed an ability to step his way out of trouble later in the game.

11 Ben Foden:
A committed showing, he was good under the high ball and made his presence felt on defence. Made the most of his limited attacking opportunities by asking questions of the Bok defence.

10 Toby Flood:
Only spent 12 minutes on the pitch and was something of a mixed bag in that time with some neat touches along with some erratic kicking.

9 Danny Care:
Provided snappy service and showed quick thinking to take advantage of Boks' lazy defence and score his try. Varied his play well and can be pleased with the impact he made on his Test return.

8 Thomas Waldrom:
Handling let him down at times but otherwise a powerful display, making some big tackles and busting holes in the Bok defensive line.

7 James Haskell:
Played with plenty of intensity, and although he was not as accurate as possible he added to England's physicality as they took the Boks on in this department.

6 Tom Johnson:
Tackled ferociously and got around the park well, playing a valuable supporting role as England committed numbers to the contact area.

5 Geoff Parling:
Proved a solid line-out option and stole some Springbok ball as well. A hard-working effort in open play, although he was penalised for going offside he did manage to slow the opposition ball down.

4 Tom Palmer:
Charged at the Boks with gusto and pressurised them into a few mistakes, with his charge-down of Morne Steyn a good example. Disrupted the Boks by getting in their faces, although he did give away a few penalties in the process.

3 Dan Cole:
Got blown up in the scrums and the rucks in a performance that was not his best. Did plenty of hard work up front but was simply not accurate enough.

2 Dylan Hartley:
A typically abrasive performance saw him get under the nose of the opposition and the referee who showed him a yellow card. Led from the front and made a nuisance of himself in contact, but will be disappointed at wearing the captain's armband in the sin bin.

1 Joe Marler:
Battled to assert himself up front, but worked hard and held his own against far more experienced opposition.


16 Lee Mears:
(On for Johnson 54-63 mins)
Under pressure when he came on to fill in for his captain who was in the sin bin, but did not let anyone down.

17 Paul Doran Jones:
Not used.

18 Mouritz Botha:
(On for Palmer, 67 mins)
Ran hard at the Bok defence, but is prone to losing the ball in contact.

19 Phil Dowson:
(On for Johnson, 67 mins)
Solid in his short time on the pitch without much opportunity to impress.

20 Lee Dickson:
Not used.

21 Owen Farrell:
(On for Flood, 12 mins)
A mixed display from the young playmaker who kicked away some good attacking ball, but proved strong in the tackle and certainly did not lack in commitment.

22 Brad Barritt:
(On for Joseph, 63 mins)
Provided his usual solid physical presence in midfield, but did not get many chances to get involved.